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‘First Month of School Done!’ Celebration Ideas

Celebrate the first month of school with these delicious treats and books

Broccoli Pasta

 Broccoli Pasta

  • 1 cup penne
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water, 7 minutes. Add broccoli; cook until both pasta and broccoli are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water.
  2. In a small bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, Parmesan, and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add olive oil, and toss.

Brownie Cupcakes:

 Brownie Cupcakes

  • Cupcake mix
  • 2 Tbs of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Milk (optional)
  • Icing of your choosing
  • Cupcake Tray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix in the cupcake mix, eggs, butter and milk
  3. Pour batter into the tray
  4. Cook for 20-25 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and cool
  6. Add frosting of your choice


Miss Nelson is missing! by Harry Allard, James Marshall Miss Nelson is Missing  What happened to the nice Miss. Nelson. The kids wonder if she is ever coming back. They sure wish they appreciated her when she was there. Ages 5-7

David goes to school by David Shannon

 David Goes to School  Follow David at school as he chews gum, talks over his teachers and starts food fights. Ages 3-7

Jessica by Kevin Henkes

 Jessica Ruthie’s best friend is Jessica but only she can see her. At her first day of kindergarten she meets a friend also named Jessica. Join her as she discovers the different wonders of friends. Ages 3-8


Recess Fun

What’s going on with your school recess? If the usual games of soccer and tetherball are boring you already, let’s try something new. The library has some fun books that teach you different hand clap rhymes, jump rope songs and ball bounce chants. Here are some of our favorites!


Do you know how to hand clap? Face your partner and follow this basic pattern: clap your own hands together; clap both your hands against your partner’s hands; clap your own hands again; clap your partner’s right hand with your right hand; clap your own hands together; and clap your partner’s left hand with your left hand. Repeat!



Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,

All Dressed in black, black, black,

With silver buttons, buttons, buttons,

All down her back, back, back.

She went upstairs to make her bed,

She made a mistake and bumped her head;

She went downstairs to wash the dishes,

She made a mistake and washed her wishes;

She went outside to hang her clothes,

She made a mistake and hung her nose.

*excerpt from Miss Mary Mack and Other Children’s Street Rhymes by Joanna Cole & Stephanie Calmenson



All you need to try this jump rope rhyme is a jump rope and some fun friends. Jump individually, or use a long jump rope, having two friends hold each end while you jump in the middle.

p04 Skipping game


Cinderella, dressed in yellow

went upstairs to kiss a ‘fella

made a mistake

and kissed a snake

how many doctors

did it take?

[count until someone messes up]



Hand Clap! Miss Mary Mack and 42 Other Hand-Clapping Games

by Sara Bernstein

hand clap

12 year old Sara Bernstein has assembled dozens of popular hand-clapping rhymes- each one kid-tested in playgrounds across the country.


Miss Mary Mack and Other Children’s Street Rhymes

By Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson; illustrated by Alan Tiegreen

A collection of rhymes used in street games remembered from the compilers’ childhoods and those of their friends. Includes basic instructions for the activities


Anna Banana: 101 Jump Rope Rhymes

Compiled by Joanna Cole; illustrated by Alan Tiegren

anna banana
An illustrated collection of jump rope rhymes arranged according to the type of jumping they are meant to accompany



Afternoon Snacks

Great snack ideas for when the kids arrive home from their extracurricular activities.

Nutella Banana Crepes:

 Banana Nutella

  • 2 tsp of butter
  • 1 Flour Tortillas
  • Nutella
  • 2 Bananas


  1. Melt butter onto a non stick pan
  2. WIth a butter knife spread nutella to your liking onto one side of two tortillas
  3. Place bananas on one tortilla. Mash and spread them onto tortilla
  4. Combine the two tortillas
  5. Place it onto pan and let it cook on both sides for a couple of minutes
  6. Cut and enjoy
  7. Add honey or sugar if desired

Yogurt Banana Split:

 Yogurt Banana Split

  • 2 bananas
  • Vanilla yoplait yogurt
  • Strawberries-sliced
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)


  1. Cut the two bananas down the middle
  2. Add greek yogurt
  3. Add the strawberries on top and drizzle the wanted amount of chocolate


Must Read:

Hands-on! Art projects by Sue Lacey ; illustrators, Rob Shone & Catherine Ward Hands on Art Project  Extremely interactive, fun and exciting art projects to try with your kids. Ages 8-11

Gardening projects for kids : 101 ways to get kids outside, dirty, and having fun by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher

 Gardening Projects  An exciting way to start your own garden or to just tend a few plants. Give your kid a great excuse to go outside and move. Ages 10 and up

Harriet the spy by written & illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh 

Harriet the Spy  Harriet observes her peers and writes it down on her notebook. One fateful day she loses it and it ends up in the wrong hands. Now all of her classmates have read her notes, will she be able to make it up to them? Ages 8-12


Back to School Healthy Lunches

Easy lunches you can do for your kids during the morning rush.

Crunchy Egg Salad 

Egg Salad

  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise + more if needed
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon red onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup apple, diced
  • salt to taste


  1. Boil the eggs
  2. Slice the celery, onion and apple. Put to the side.
  3. Combine eggs,onions,celery, apple, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until mixed well.

Fruit Salad:

Fruit Salad

  • 12 whole strawberries
  • 2 Kiwis
  • 1 Orange
  • Pineapple chunks


  1. Wash fruit
  2. Peel the kiwis and cut in fourths
  3. Peel the orange and cut them in fourths
  4. Combine all fruit in a tupperware and place it in an insulated  lunch bag
  5. Add any topping of your like (i.e. condensed milk, tajin, lemon)



Rocking in my school shoes  by Eric Litwin ; art by James Dean Pete the Cat  Join Pete, his tunes and new shoes as he explores his surrounding! Ages 5-8

Back to school, Splat! by Laura Bergen ; interior pencils by Charles Grosvenor ; interior color by Joe Merkel

 Splat the Cat Splat’s first homework assignment is to share one of his best summer experiences. What is yours? Ages 5-10

The day the crayons quit  by Drew Daywalt ; pictures by Oliver Jeffers the Day the Crayons Quit The crayons demand better treatment. Read their letters as to why they quit. Ages 5-8

Coloring for Fun and Relaxation

backpackOh My!! The summer is drawing to an end and school is starting soon – or already has! New teacher or MANY new teachers, for some of you a new school, and new classmates, and the homework hasn’t even started yet! Time to relax, take a breath… and bring out the crayons, colored pencils, and coloring books!

coloring-clip-art-colored_pencils_on_paperYou may have noticed that coloring books aren’t just for children any more, adults are coloring also! So the selection of coloring books and sheets isn’t limited to simple and boring – beautiful flowers, stained glass windows, ethnic symbols, architectural designs, historical sites, national parks – if you want it, you can find it!

Of course you can create your own drawings and designs, and you can find many coloring sheets on the web. Here are some sites to check:

Google Images is a source of many coloring sheets; try the keywords ‘free clip art coloring pages’ and you can add ‘children’ or ‘safe’ to further narrow your search. You can also add a subject if you ‘re looking for something specific like ‘horses’ or ‘dogs’ or ‘dresses’ or ‘race cars’ or whatever you want. Just entering ‘coloring pages’ into Google Images brought up this interesting picture darth

Crayola has free pages, both to color on line and to print out. HelloKids.com allows you to choose your theme, and find almost 12,000 different pages to print and color! USA-Printables give you access to Famous People in U.S. History, Historic Places and Symbols in the U.S., Historic Events in U.S. History, the Fifty States, Presidents of the United States and Holidays and Special Days!

This can be a real full-family activity! So relax, color, stimulate your mind, and have FUN!


End of Summer Party!

Celebrate the end of summer before starting school!

Sushi sandwich:

Sandwich Sushi

  • One 3-ounce tuna packed in water
  • 1tbs of mayonnaise
  • Lemon
  • 2 slices of preferred sandwich bread


  1. Drain tuna. Stir in mayonnaise and lemon.
  2. Cut of crust from bread. Roll out bread until flatten.
  3. Spoon tuna in the middle of each slice bread. Tightly enclose the filling.
  4. Cut each roll into 4 pieces


Ice Cream Tacos:


  • Frozen waffles
  • 3 cup of preferred ice cream
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)
  • Maraschino Cherries (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)


  1. Lay frozen waffles flat on a cookie sheet and allow to thaw, about 10 minutes. Form each into a taco shape and fit together side-by-side in a baking dish.
  2. Fill each evenly with ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup (optional). Freeze until firm.
  3. Top each with whipped cream and a cherry if desired.
  4. Keep frozen, allow tacos to sit for 5 minutes before ready to serve.



Summer of lost and found by Rebecca Behrens

 Summer of Lost and Found Follow Nell as she discovers the history of Roanoke. She finds to her surprise that history can be an adventure. Ages 10-15

Summer showers by Kate Hannigan ; illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes Cupcake Cousins Follow cousins Willow and Delia as their family grows as well as their responsibilities. The second book of the Cupcake Cousins series. Ages 8-12

My mixed-up berry blue summer by Jennifer Gennari

 My mixed up berry blue summer “Twelve-year-old June Farrell spends the summer at her Vermont home getting used to the woman her mother is planning to marry and practicing her pie-baking skills, as she hopes to win the blue ribbon at the fair” Ages 10-12


Read to the Beat!

It’s not too late to read and play the Summer Reading Game! Why not combine reading with the things you love most, like music!

Find biographies of some of your favorite artists at the Alameda County Library, like these:

ariana grandeAriana Grande by Sara Tieck

“Details the life and career of the actress and singer famous for her roles in such television series as ‘Victorious’ and ‘Sam & Cat’.”        [JB GRANDE,A]

austin mahoneAustin Mahone by Marie Morreale

“Chronicles the life and career of the singer, from his childhood in Texas to his own EP release.”        [JB MAHONE,A]

taylor swiftTaylor Swift by Marie Morreale

“Find out how Taylor Smith went from living on a Christmas tree farm to playing sold-out stadium shows for her loyal fans, also known as Swifties. Also learn how Taylor got her start and what she has planned for the future.”     [JB SWIFT,T]

adeleAdele: Soul Music’s Magical Voice by Matt Doeden

“When she was only 19 years old, Adele released her first single, “Hometown Glory.” Two years, two albums, and a lot of heartbreak later, she swept the 54th Grammy Awards, winning all six categories for which she was nominated.”         [JB ADELE]

zendayaZendaya: Capturing the Stage, Screen, and Modeling Scene by Heather E. Schwartz

“You may know Zendaya from the Disney Channel’s Shake It Up. But did you know that she:
• danced in a hip-hop group when she was eight years old?
• was the youngest contestant ever on Dancing with the Stars—and she earned second place?
• hopes to have her own fashion line someday?”      [JB ZENDAYA]


music swirlMusic-notes-clip-art-Great reads while you are listening to your favorite music!